Our "classnews" Feed

03 Sep 2012 17:10
Kathie Blanding's Harrowing Experience with a Krakatoa Eruption, Part 1 
enfeedia RSS feed publisherFrom: Kathie (Harrow) Blanding
3 September 2012
[Kathie's email posted here by Ken Gorman (with liberty taken for the title)]
=== PART 1 ===

Hi Everyone,
This is why we came! We are now anchored at Pulau Rakata, just south of Anak (child of) Krakatoa Volcano. Our anchorage is beautiful and has a great view of a badly misbehaving volcano - 'Baby Krak'.

We arrived on 30 August with JJ Moon at the park headquarters on Krakatoa. That morning we listened to Baby Krak grumbling and watched him spit a little lava. Dave climbed to a terrace half way up the side of the volcano and got some good pics. On the 31th we moved to our current anchorage (6 08.56 S, 105 25.46 E) with a perfect view of Baby Krak which is two miles to the North, and waited for a night show. The first day and night were uneventful, but on the morning of 2 September he woke up and began building to a major eruption that has added a major growth spurt to the island in less than 24 hours.

The plumes of lava got higher and higher until about 3 PM when another major increase began that showed fiery lava in broad daylight, blasted twice the height of the volcano. The noise was intimidating- like a continuous Kansas thunderstorm, so we prepared for departure on a moment's notice. Foremost in our minds was the fact that this is the volcano that killed 36,000 in 1883. The SE trades were still blowing the gas and ash away from us or we would have had to leave before then.

The night show was absolutely spectacular, and the sound volume and lava kept right on increasing. By 4 AM the volcano sounded like the launch of a Saturn 5 rocket, only louder, a crackling roar that pounds on your chest. By this time the molten snow had accumulated on the east and west flanks and the lava flows had crossed the terrace I walked on two days before and reached the sea, producing huge steam clouds. This morning Baby Krak is still roaring and spewing as we prepare to head out into the Indian Ocean to Chagos, about 2000 nm and 10-12 days away.

Since you last heard from us at Nongsa Marina, Indonesia we completed the Indonesian part of our trip. The passages from Rebak to Krakatoa through the Melaka Strait in Malaysia, and the NW part of Indonesia were almost all up-wind motoring into winds of 10-20 kts. Sunflower has not done so much motoring since we have owned her; we think that she did not like it much and we certainly did not. However, Arnold, the engine, did a very fine job after his retune (by Cap'n Dave) in March and April of this year. He has really been put to the test, and we think that he lives up to his namesake. We calculate that we 'sailed' about 1000nm in about 15 days. That 'sailing' was mostly motoring, thank you, Arnold.

... continued